Prep Football: Tri-Cities picked as favorites in 3AAAAAABy DOUG GORMAN
The six-team Region 3-AAAAAA football standings are expected to be tight this fall.
At least that was the opinion of the league’s coaches and media members, who gathered at Orchard Hills Golf Club Monday morning to preview the upcoming season and cast a preseason vote.
In a vote by coaches and media, Tri-Cities was picked to win the league, garnering 64 points and seven of 12 first-place votes. The Bulldogs were one of four teams to receive first-place votes.
Newnan was picked second with 53 points getting two first-place votes. East Coweta was third with 43 points. Westlake garnered two first place votes and 42 points to finish fourth.
Langston Hughes picked up a first-place vote and finished fifth with 39 points. Douglas County was sixth with 12 points.
Newnan and East Coweta each had to secure five non-region games to open the season because their are just six teams in the region.
The Cougars open the season on Aug. 24 at Marietta, and then play their home opener the following week at home against LaGrange. Newnan’s other non-region games include at Sandy Creek (Sept. 7), at Troup (Sept. 14) and at home against Hardaway (Sept. 28) before playing its region opener at Tri-Cities.
East Coweta plays its season opener on Aug 31 at home against Henry County. The Indians then stay at home against Archer the following week.
The Indians cross the county line for a game against Sandy Creek on Sept. 14. The Patriots won the Class AAA title last year.
It will be the first of two straight games for East Coweta against a state power. The next week East Coweta plays at home against Lovejoy. Last season, the Wildcats won their first 14 games, before losing to Tucker in the state title game at the Georgia Dome.
East Coweta’s final non-region game is the following week at Central in Phenix City, Ala.
The Indians then open its Region 3-AAAAAA schedule against Westlake on the road.
Newnan and East Coweta again close out the regular season against each other when they meet in the regular season finale on November 9 in Sharpsburg.
Newnan and East Coweta come into the season fresh off trips to the playoffs.
The Cougars finished just 6-6 last year, but upset Valdosta on the road in the first round of the Class AAAAA tournament.
“We don’t have the depth that we have had in the past, but it has been a good summer,” said Newnan head coach Mike McDonald.
East Coweta went 7-4 last season, but posted a come-from-behind win against the Cougars to close out the regular season.
The challenge for the Indians this year will be overcoming its youth and experience.
“Last year we had 34 seniors,” East Coweta head coach Clint Wade said.”I had never had that many seniors before. A lot of those guys we depended on and they got a lot of playing time. This year, we are going to have a guys who just don’t have a lot of experience.”